One Father’s Day, my wife helped the kids bake me those hand and foot prints that you harden in the oven and then paint. They tasted awful but I ate three of them. Because when my kids bake me something, I eat it. Even when it’s not really edible. Because that is the kind of father I am.
This is why I deserve a Father’s Day. I know it’s bullshit. I know it’s a holiday invented by an unholy triumvirate of Hallmark, Faberge, and super-intelligent werewolves to get us all to buy cards and Brut. It’s well known that werewolves love the taste of Brut. It’s science.
I don’t even need a card or much of a gift, really. I’m not asking for anything fancy. Like that ad for a cellphone where the dad buys himself one on behalf of his baby daughter because he rationalizes that she’d want him to have it. Disgusting. And wasteful. The last thing I need is a new smartphone so I can ignore my kids. I can ignore my kids just fine with this laptop right here. Or a book. Or even just by curling up on the couch in the fetal position and closing my eyes until they go away.
My point being, I am an excellent dad. I’ve earned a day in celebration of my fatherhood. As contrived as it might be. I just want to go out for breakfast, that’s all. Just go out for breakfast, come home, see them clean the house maybe. That’s all. Breakfast, a clean house, and a pedicure. And a sixer of Newcastle. They can use the fake IDs I got them for their birthdays to buy it.
Because whether it’s a contrived holiday or not (and by the way, what constitutes a contrived holiday? Christmas and Easter are bizarre soups of pagan and Christian traditions, Halloween is from Celtic pagans, Presidents’ Day falls on no day belonging to any president, and Groundhog Day … actually, that one is pretty legit), we dads deserve a day.
A day to celebrate those of us who are up to our elbows in the shit, literal or otherwise, every day.
Then we should have Deadbeat Dad’s Day in August. When they show up to get their baked footprints, we nab’em!
A version of this first appeared on Musings from The Big Pink.